Main Contractor: Highgate
Hotel operator: Park Lane New York
Interior design: Yabu Pushelberg
Furnishings: Molteni&C., B&B Italia, Stellar Works, Avenue Road
Lighting: Extra Ordinario, Lasvit
Rugs: Area Rugs YP custom design, Warp & Weft, Creative Matters
Fabrics: Rubelli, Dedar
Photo credits: Alice Gao, Adrian Gaut
To redesign the flair and personality of a place like Park Lane New York was a true challenge for the studio Yabu Pushelberg. Under the aegis of Highgate, one of the leading real estate investment and hospitality management companies, the design team had to come to terms with the building’s eccentric and intense history. Located at a key position in the geography and imagery of Manhattan, with an exceptional view of Central Park, the hotel was a gem owned by the couple Leona and Harry Helmsley, protagonists in the 1970s of the city’s real estate growth, with the renovation of a number of historic buildings and the creation of new landmarks.
Park Lane went through periods of glory, but also the tumultuous financial misadventures of the couple, who were married in the facility and continued to own the property, until it became the luxurious place of house arrest for Leona. Other scandals and international gossip continued in time, after the death of the Helmsleys, and seemed to simply boost the hotel’s status, and its role in the city’s remarkable real estate legacy.
The project by Yabu Pushelberg, with the aim of lightening up the by-now obsolete interiors, began with an intelligent, well-balanced design action, capable of conserving the magic of that incredible past, but with the sensibilities of today’s New York. Not only by restoring the splendor of the building, but also by redefining the entire zone of Central Park South.
The concept for the shared spaces, guestrooms, suites and terrace has centered on the distinctive qualities of the site, in an evocative, surprising and unexpected interpretation that draws on the unscrupulous, brash range of experiences of the former owner herself.
The designers’ light, ironic approach mixes original characteristics, reviving the modern grace of the chandeliers, appliques and casements, together with new exuberant contemporary accents. A dynamic narrative that is reflected in the forms of the pieces designed by Yabu Pushelberg.
Like the soft shapes of the Surf Sofas by Molteni&C., with the sinuous lines free of constraints, and the Perry Street produced by Avenue Road, which encourages intimacy and socializing, thanks to flared armrests and curved backs. Or the clear, clean lines of the Cipher suspension lamp by Lasvit, floating delicate cylindrical pieces crafted by hand in blown glass in the air over the reception counter. The result is a poetic atmosphere, with light emitted only from the points of connection, finished in shiny champagne bold.
A deconstructed urban topography guides the steps on the handwoven carpets of the Grid collection for Warp & Weft. Erased lines and fragmented patterns, at times also centered on the axis, create variations of the same theme. A tribute to the vitality of New York and the vicissitudes of the Park Lane Hotel.